Fact of the Week: Heir Apparent

By John Boyce

One of the highlights of the 2016-17 season has been the emergence of Arrowfield stallion Snitzel (Aus) (Redoute’s Choice {Aus}) as a major force. His record year with 32 juvenile winners including eight stakes winners was truly remarkable. It’s not that we didn’t know about Snitzel–this is his ninth season with runners–the fascinating thing with him is that it shows what’s possible once a stallion starts to receive the nation’s very best mares.

In Snitzel’s case, he’s become the hottest sire around and is poised to take over the baton from his illustrious father Redoute’s Choice (Danehill) at Arrowfield. As things stand, Snitzel has a 10.3% black-type winners-to-runners strike-rate, which places him behind only Redoute’s Choice (11.1%) among active sires in Australia and New Zealand. The question everyone’s asking now is can Snitzel start to match his excellent sire’s remarkable output. If he can, his access to the highest quality of mares in recent years will have helped significantly.

In his first four years at stud, the son of Redoute’s Choice covered less than 50 elite mares in total. Then from 2011 onwards, his opportunities started to increase markedly. That year he attracted 28 elite mares, followed by 49 in 2012, 99 in 2013. Last season’s juveniles are from a group of mares that featured 107 elite mares. Snitzel’s best 10 runners have a combined average Timeform rating of 120.3. He’ll need to get to a figure of 124.3 to match his great sire. That’s an average of four pounds per runner, but you couldn’t bet against him doing so.

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